Early demo of Siri third-party app integration finds feature useful, vital to system's evolution

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2016
Ahead of an expected iOS 10 launch in September, The Wall Street Journal was able to test out Siri's ability to integrate with third-party apps, finding the feature a useful and perhaps necessary next step in the virtual assistant's evolution.




With iOS 10, Apple is allowing developers to tap into Siri APIs for the first time, allowing users to interact with a variety of third-party apps using only their voice. Demonstrated onstage at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, Siri integration promises a world of possibilities, including sending chats messages through WeChat, making payments, hailing an Uber and more.

The WSJ spent some hands-on time with a few key apps involving mobile payments, image search and messaging, offering the first real-world look at integrations slated to arrive when iOS 10 debuts next month.

Calling it a "long-overdue feature," the publication said asking Siri to perform common operations was on average faster than opening the app and completing the task manually. Much like Apple's WWDC demonstration, the integrated apps evaluated by the WSJ often relied on customized cards that show up in the Siri user interface.

For example, the request, "Siri, send Catherine $20 for lunch with Cash" triggers a Square Cash card to appear, complete with Touch ID verification module. In another example, saying, "Hey Siri, send Jim Gonzalez a message in LinkedIn" invokes a LinkedIn card and sends out a direct message.

"Siri needed this," said WSJ reporter Nathan Olivarez-Giles. "Since 2011, we've been able to use Apple's assistant to check the weather, dial a phone number and get sports scores. It's novel, but not imperative. This wasn't the computing Holy Grail we've dreamed about since the earliest episodes of 'Star Trek.'"

Moving closer to that goal, Siri can now parse more complex word strings like, "Siri, show me photos of what Kanye West wore to the VMA awards this year in Looklive," a command that surfaced photos of Kanye's outfit with links to purchase certain items. Apple recently revealed Siri migrated to a machine learning neural net system in 2014, a move that aids in processing difficult commands.

According to the report, a number of apps are primed to debut Siri integration this fall, including chat platforms from LinkedIn, WhatsApp, WeChat and Slack, payments solutions from Square Cash and Monzo, and photo search tools from Pinterest, Vogue Runway, Looklive, The Roll and Pikazo.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,048member
    It won't be long until someone comments 'Siri sucks' 'I still don't use Siri' 'I only use Google Now, it's much better' or 'Alexa is smarter than Siri.' Or something along those lines.

    The point is, Siri is uniquely Apple and I have never had any problem using it. I think, in my iPhone, Siri is the best assistant one can ask for - IF one really know how to use it and often.
    edited August 2016 lolliverrepressthisDeelronmejsricfastasleeplkruppargonaut
  • Reply 2 of 22
    Was Daniel fired from Appleinsider? I'll give this site one more week. If there's no Daniel article, then I'll just have to unfavorite this site  :|
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 3 of 22
    Security Concern
    Siri can be provoked from lock screen. So will the third party Siri API allow verbal commands to be executed without first unlocking the device?

    Problematic Example
    Criminal picks up an unattended iPhone and prompts Siri to send X amount of money from Square Cash to X account.

    I imagine authentication is required but, as of now, I have no confirmation of the matter.

    Your thoughts?
  • Reply 4 of 22

    Problematic Example
    Criminal picks up an unattended iPhone and prompts Siri to send X amount of money from Square Cash to X account.

    I imagine authentication is required but, as of now, I have no confirmation of the matter.

    It says there's a Touch ID prompt right in the article. 
    mejsricslprescottlolliverSolifastasleeplostkiwischlackargonautwaverboy
  • Reply 5 of 22
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 344member
    Was Daniel fired from Appleinsider? I'll give this site one more week. If there's no Daniel article, then I'll just have to unfavorite this site 

    He goes on hiatus from time to time. Especially when traveling overseas. Last year I think it was (or maybe the year before) he was traveling around China and didn't publish any articles for a while. When he returned he had several interesting articles about his travels and insights into the Chinese and Hong Kong markets related to Apple.

    He's listed as a "Freelance Writer" on linked In from Jan 2005 - present. Don't know if he ever listed Apple Insider on there or not though.

    I also hope he shows up here again soon but haven't started to worry just yet.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Security Concern
    Siri can be provoked from lock screen. So will the third party Siri API allow verbal commands to be executed without first unlocking the device?

    Problematic Example
    Criminal picks up an unattended iPhone and prompts Siri to send X amount of money from Square Cash to X account.

    I imagine authentication is required but, as of now, I have no confirmation of the matter.

    Your thoughts?

    Siri also has a switch in your passcode settings to set if it can be accessed while the device is locked. 
    lollivertopper24hours2old4funrepressthis
  • Reply 7 of 22
    See Apple, sometimes it pays to play nice with others. Next step in Siri evolution will really come however when it can adjust any setting in the Settings app.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 344member
    jgreg728 said:
    See Apple, sometimes it pays to play nice with others. Next step in Siri evolution will really come however when it can adjust any setting in the Settings app.
    So you told Apple they needed to play nice with others and they took your advice hey? So glad you were able to show them the error of their ways. /s

    Apple have the most successful App store on the planet, they have partnerships with several enterprise companies including IBM and Cisco, they rely on partnerships for all their manufacturing and you think they don't usually play nice with others??
    Rayz2016topper24hours
  • Reply 9 of 22
    Was Daniel fired from Appleinsider? I'll give this site one more week. If there's no Daniel article, then I'll just have to unfavorite this site  :|
    Followers of DED on Twitter will know that Daniel is, to quote his header info... "I write for AppleInsider & RoughlyDrafted. Currently on a lavish 2 week vacation within America's healthcare system."
    lolliver2old4fun
  • Reply 10 of 22
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 344member
    Was Daniel fired from Appleinsider? I'll give this site one more week. If there's no Daniel article, then I'll just have to unfavorite this site  :|
    Followers of DED on Twitter will know that Daniel is, to quote his header info... "I write for AppleInsider & RoughlyDrafted. Currently on a lavish 2 week vacation within America's healthcare system."

    That doesn't sound like the sort of vacation he usually likes to take... Hopefully it all goes well for him.
    fotoformat
  • Reply 11 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,730member
    Security Concern
    Siri can be provoked from lock screen. So will the third party Siri API allow verbal commands to be executed without first unlocking the device?

    Problematic Example
    Criminal picks up an unattended iPhone and prompts Siri to send X amount of money from Square Cash to X account.

    I imagine authentication is required but, as of now, I have no confirmation of the matter.

    Your thoughts?
    My thought is that you didn't read the article properly. 
    lolliverfastasleeptopper24hours
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,730member
    jgreg728 said:
    See Apple, sometimes it pays to play nice with others. Next step in Siri evolution will really come however when it can adjust any setting in the Settings app.
    So you read somewhere on the inter-thingy that Apple doesn't play nice with others. Congratulations. 

    This isn't a case of playing nice; Apple just wrote some APIs to expose Siri to third-parties (that sounded less creepy in my head). They then spent an age testing them to make sure they worked without exposing your bank account to anyone shouting on the subway. 



    lolliverfastasleep
  • Reply 13 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,730member
    I have a question for someone who knows about this stuff. 

    Apple let says that all the processing and learning is held on the phone so that your privacy isn't violated. 

    Does that mean when I get a new phone, the learning has to start again?
    digital_guy
  • Reply 14 of 22
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 606member
    lolliver said:
    Was Daniel fired from Appleinsider? I'll give this site one more week. If there's no Daniel article, then I'll just have to unfavorite this site 
    Followers of DED on Twitter will know that Daniel is, to quote his header info... "I write for AppleInsider & RoughlyDrafted. Currently on a lavish 2 week vacation within America's healthcare system."

    That doesn't sound like the sort of vacation he usually likes to take... Hopefully it all goes well for him.
    Yeah apparently he left hospital yesterday, so I hope he will be back writing soon.  It sounds like he had a bit of a rough time.
    edited August 2016 lolliver
  • Reply 15 of 22
    Rayz2016 said:
    I have a question for someone who knows about this stuff. 

    Apple let says that all the processing and learning is held on the phone so that your privacy isn't violated. 

    Does that mean when I get a new phone, the learning has to start again?
    I've wondered the same. When I recently got an iPad (my first), I noticed that it didn't seem to be offering the same phrases that my iPhone did. (I mean the Siri word suggestions bar...whatever that's called, can't remember the name Apple use for it.)
  • Reply 16 of 22
    Rayz2016 said:
    I have a question for someone who knows about this stuff. 

    Apple let says that all the processing and learning is held on the phone so that your privacy isn't violated. 

    Does that mean when I get a new phone, the learning has to start again?
    Supposedly (via the recent interview with Phil, Craig, & Eddy), it is housed in a roughly 200mb file on your phone- I have to imagine that when you transfer your info to a new phone, say by way of iTunes backup; that that file would transfer over as well... as it obviously wouldn't need to get accessed by Apple or anything for that to happen.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    lolliver said:
    Was Daniel fired from Appleinsider? I'll give this site one more week. If there's no Daniel article, then I'll just have to unfavorite this site  :|
    Followers of DED on Twitter will know that Daniel is, to quote his header info... "I write for AppleInsider & RoughlyDrafted. Currently on a lavish 2 week vacation within America's healthcare system."

    That doesn't sound like the sort of vacation he usually likes to take... Hopefully it all goes well for him.
    He better have enough medical insurance!
    lolliver
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,730member

    Rayz2016 said:
    I have a question for someone who knows about this stuff. 

    Apple let says that all the processing and learning is held on the phone so that your privacy isn't violated. 

    Does that mean when I get a new phone, the learning has to start again?
    Supposedly (via the recent interview with Phil, Craig, & Eddy), it is housed in a roughly 200mb file on your phone- I have to imagine that when you transfer your info to a new phone, say by way of iTunes backup; that that file would transfer over as well... as it obviously wouldn't need to get accessed by Apple or anything for that to happen.
    Mmmm.  But what about folk who just take the stuff through iCloud? I would imagine the file is transferred via Apple servers. 
  • Reply 19 of 22
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,608member
    kevin kee said:

    The point is, Siri is uniquely Apple and I have never had any problem using it. I think, in my iPhone, Siri is the best assistant one can ask for - IF one really know how to use it and often.
    That is all very nice (for you), but the way you put it Siri sounds like a very un-Apple like feature evidenced by you last sentence. How does one 'really know how to use it'? Is there a manual? It sounds so... beyond the average person's grasp. Perhaps you could share some secrets because I have tried hard to become friends with Siri but find her flaky at best.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 20 of 22
    Rayz2016 said:

    Rayz2016 said:
    I have a question for someone who knows about this stuff. 

    Apple let says that all the processing and learning is held on the phone so that your privacy isn't violated. 

    Does that mean when I get a new phone, the learning has to start again?
    Supposedly (via the recent interview with Phil, Craig, & Eddy), it is housed in a roughly 200mb file on your phone- I have to imagine that when you transfer your info to a new phone, say by way of iTunes backup; that that file would transfer over as well... as it obviously wouldn't need to get accessed by Apple or anything for that to happen.
    Mmmm.  But what about folk who just take the stuff through iCloud? I would imagine the file is transferred via Apple servers. 
    See:  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202303

    It doesn't specifically mention the local Siri file on your iDevices -- but that may be included within Backup.

    edited August 2016
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